- Zanib Khan shared ‘illicit relationships’ including sexually explicit texts, phone calls and letters with drug dealers
- Tried to frame her younger sister when caught
- Lied to bosses about fact her father and boyfriend were also serving prison sentences
- ‘Your behaviour was deplorable and the public will be shocked’ says judge
Jailed: Zanib Khan arriving at Southwark Crown Court whwre she was sentenced to 12 months for ‘illicit relationships’ with prisoners
A woman prison officer who admitted swapping erotic letters and phone calls with four serving convicts was jailed for 12 months yesterday.
Zanib Khan, 27, made more than ten hours of amorous calls to drug dealers and robbers.
One prison inmate said he could not forget ‘walking through those gates and seeing my beautiful gal’.
Another referred to kissing her ‘beautiful lips and body’ and spoke about how he wanted to see the petite warder’s ‘size 2 feet’ in the air as they made love.
The letters, smuggled out of her workplace, HMP Brixton, were later found in her bedroom at her parents’ home.
After the arrest it emerged she had previously been disciplined for failing to disclose her father was serving a four-year sentence for immigration offences, and that her boyfriend was inside for robbery.
Although Khan only admitted misconduct with four prisoners, police suspect she was conducting relationships with a further three inmates.
Her defence counsel insisted that though the letters contained ‘sexual matters’, it was all fantasy.
Robin Du Preez, prosecuting, said between March and November 2011: ‘Miss Khan developed an inappropriate intimate relationship with serving prisoners on A Wing at HMP Brixton.
‘They were Timothy Iyegbe, Daryl Smith and Jason Graham. She was responsible for them at prison and she did not disclose any of the contact, contrary to the Prison Rules.’
Smith and Iyegbe were both heroin dealers.
Mr Du Preez, detailing Khan’s previous disciplinary offence, said: ‘Her father was a serving prisoner and she joined the prison service [in January 2009] 12 days after her father’s imprisonment.
Also she did not disclose her relationship with a serving prisoner, Wahid Khalique.’ Khan’s tangled love life came to light in October 7, 2011, when a mobile phone was found in Jason Graham’s cell at Ford open prison. He had been an inmate at Brixton.
Mr Du Preez said the phone had been in contact with Khan. A check revealed that the same number used by Khan had been used to call ‘a number of serving prisoners’ including Iyegbe and Smith.
Between March 10 and November 22, 2011, there had been ten hours of calls between Khan and the prisoners.
Affairs: Brixton Prison, south London, where Zanib Khan shared racy phone calls letters with two convicts as well as a third in an open prison
Mr Du Preez explained prisoners are allowed to make calls to a restricted number of approved numbers which are taped. Iyegbe had Khan’s number listed ‘as his mother’ and Smith had it listed on the system as ‘his partner’.
Police retrieved the tape of one three-and-a-half minute phone call between Iyegbe and Khan dated August 28, 2011.
Mr Du Preez said Khan finished the call saying ‘I love you,’ as he did to her. Khan was arrested on January 28, 2011 after her home in Ilford, East London was searched and the letters found. She resigned that day.
The letters from Wahid Khalique were ‘of an innocent nature,’ while the letters from Smith and Iyegbe were more graphic, the court heard.
Khan’s counsel, Anand Beharrylal, said in mitigation the sexual content in the letters was ‘fantasy and flattery.’
Judge David Higgins told Khan, who admitted misconduct in a public office: ‘You undertook a knowing and sustained voluntary and gross breach of trust.’
NEARLY 6,000 FEMALE PRISON GUARDS NOW WORK IN MEN’S JAILS
Until the 1980s women prison officers were restricted to working in women-only institutions.
Similarly, male guards could not work outside all-male jails.
However, since the ban was dropped, that division of labour has been broken down.
There are now nearly 6,000 women prison officers in England and Wales, around one in four of the total.
The Ministry of Justice could not provide a breakdown of how many women work specifically in men’s prisons.
But Mark Leech, editor of the Prisons’ Handbook, estimated that around 500 women officers were working in men’s prisons. There are very few rules restricting what work female prison officers can carry out.
They can work in maximum security environments dealing with the most violent and dangerous criminals.
Female officers cannot carry out body searches of male inmates, and there is a similar ban on searches of women prisoners by male officers.
Pregnant female officers can be limited in their contact with inmates for their own safety.
The only other restrictions are those imposed in individual prisons by governors if there is thought to be a particular risk with certain inmates.